Shades of Yesterday – Sorrowful Reminiscences

Alone.

Always alone.

As a child,
Friendly as could be,
Lover of life,
Of experience,
Of all,
Care free.

As a young man,
He would sit there,
Nose in a book,
Reading voraciously every word that he could,
Countless books read,
Thousands, maybe tens of thousands,
Books for friends,
He would drift off to sleep while reading,
Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer,
Aristotle or Plato,
Dickens or Shakespeare,
Didn’t matter,
As long as there were words,
How did he hunger to taste every single consonant,
Every phonetically awakening idea,
And a different world,
Into which he could escape,
He would wake,
Book on chest,
Or right beside his rejuvenated body,
He looked for books before his toothbrush,
Before breakfast,
They were his first and last concern,
His everything.

Alone.

Always alone.

He aged,
As we all do,
And desired nothing more than to be loved,
To be held close by others,
To be understood,
He went to school each day,
And each day looked for something new to learn,
Not curriculum,
But something real,
Something he could use,
After all what use is Grade 9 French,
Or Grade 12 Biology,
But words,
In books,
They were useful to him,
He could escape.
He did escape,
Friend of everyone and no one,
Still longing to fit in,
But he never did,
So he read,
Though his desire for real nourishing relationship persisted.

Alone.

Always alone.

He continued to age,
Though surrounded by people everywhere,
They were illusions,
Shadows of reality,
Rather than the words he read,
Deeply rich and inviting words,
And worlds,
In which he escaped,
To which he ran,
Not running from this world,
Instead running toward the world that held meaning for him,
Books, and only books.

He went to work,
Words his currency,
Though he was never satisfied,
That world held nothing for him,
Advertising, politics and more,
He had to escape,
And so he ran,
Straight into a book.

Alone.

Always alone.

Though loved by many,
By most,
He always felt alone,
Abandoned always,
ALWAYS abandoned,
Except by words,
Except by books and characters,
Mowgli was his friend,
As was Peter Pan and Dorian Gray,
Alice and Anna,
Jay and Nick,
Madhatter and the Kraken,
All his friends,
Apollo, Aphrodite and Zeus,
A veritable party lived daily in his head,
So naturally he ran,
Towards the word.

Alone.

Always alone.

His mind began to fracture,
He began to fight,
Thirteen is such a tender age,
Tragedy,
The fissure became complete,
Though the consequence would not be known,
For two decades more,
The stress of trying to be what this world wanted,
His parents and family wanted,
His girlfriends and fiancé wanted,
His mind finally let go,
There was no book to run to,
No fictional best friend to lift him up,
No Lilliput or Treasure Island to which he could escape,
And so his mind let go.

It was then that he realized,
He really was alone,
In more ways then one,
Save that the fissure had now become a personality,
Two personalities,
Books no longer a capable medication,
To battle the fracture,
Only band aids put on shark bites,
Little pills,
And the words he writes.

Alone.

Always alone.

He walked to the mirror,
With shades of yesterday on his mind,
Sorrowful reminiscences as he stared blankly,
And the reflection was…

Me.

SDM

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